Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Preventing stray chemicals in food, pharmaceutical and industrial products

15.07.2003


Chemistry is big business. From medicine to food, industrial processes to environmental management, it is more important than ever before to know exactly which chemicals are present in our lives. With more sophisticated chemicals comes greater responsibility. Now a EUREKA project is helping companies the world over to comply with a new set of legally binding standards.



In the near future the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO) will require companies to state just how reliable their chemical measurements are. As of 2002, a commercial software system is available to help chemists everywhere. It can assess the accuracy of the percentage contents listings of their products, or the risk of pesticide contamination in food and medicines.

Matthias Rösslein of Swiss-based project leader, the EMPA Research Institute, explains: "In the past, companies have already been challenged for uncertainty statements. In food control, for example, it is important to show that pesticides are really below a limit defined by government."


The MUSAC system will help companies to judge if they are in breach of chemical limit regulations. Rösslein says that these computer-based techniques would have been impossible to develop outside the EUREKA forum. "We had people from laboratories, programmers and those that understand measurement uncertainty. EUREKA brought them together under one roof. It was a new experience and it’s important that we undertake more interdisciplinary projects in the future."

Around 20 partners contributed to the MUSAC project. The finished software system gets a grip on measurement uncertainty in four easy steps. It asks for the quantities of each chemical and possible sources of uncertainty (such as changing lab temperatures) before calculating the margin of error and simulating uncertainty levels over the production base.

One method to measure uncertainty is illustrated by a plasma flame: if atoms like cadmium or iron are present, they are excited and then emit a very characteristic light.

So important is compliance with the new ISO standards that Nestlé is helping to commercialise the MUSAC system. According to Rösslein, "they are thinking about using this product in their labs worldwide".

Some of the MUSAC partners have put together a spin-off company to market the new software. MUSAC also provided the impetus for the development of a related system to quantify uncertainty in physical measurements, such as component length and electric current.

Nicola Vatthauer | alfa

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht ‘Time Machine’ heralds new era
25.03.2019 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets
22.03.2019 | Universität des Saarlandes

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New gene potentially involved in metastasis identified

Gene named after Roman goddess Minerva as immune cells get stuck in the fruit fly’s head

Cancers that display a specific combination of sugars, called T-antigen, are more likely to spread through the body and kill a patient. However, what regulates...

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Searching for disappeared anti-matter: A successful start to measurements with Belle II

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Extremely accurate measurements of atom states for quantum computing

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Listening to the quantum vacuum

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>